The New Statesman unveils its radically overhauled design tomorrow, as part of a relaunch intended to explode the left-wing weekly’s worthy-but-dull image.
Editorial design consultancy Esterson Associates this week put the finishing touches to the redesign for the title, which is held to wield an influence far greater than its 25 000-strong circulation would suggest. Consultancy director Simon Esterson declined to reveal the design budget for the project.
The overhaul implicitly lays part of the blame for the magazine’s dour image at the door of the old design. ‘I think that when there are misconceptions, there is more than one cause, but design was probably one of them,’ says New Statesman editor John Kampfner.
A key feature of the redesign is the dramatically revamped cover, which uses large, eye-catching text to call attention to the strength of the writing, which is the New Statesman’s stock-in-trade. ‘The New Statesman hasn’t got huge amounts of money to spend on artwork, so, by making a cover that is strongly typographic, we focus on the writing and create something that looks different,’ adds Esterson.
Inside, the redesign goes for a simpler look, which Esterson defines as ‘elegance and urgency combined’, eschewing predictable typography and offering crisper layouts. ‘We have tried to move away from the kind of thinking which dictates that if it is left-wing, it must be sans-serif or some other angry typography,’ he says.